The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Monday, April 30, 2007


Tom Parnell of WGGB-TV40 was up to UMass today to interview me for a story they're doing on the Valley blogosphere. I don't expect to be featured very prominently in the piece, which is about the various problems people have when they are attacked in forums like Masslive by anonymous cowards trying to damage their reputation. I tried to stick up for the internet, pointing out that it is a new medium whose standards are still evolving. Besides, who takes seriously what some anonymous jerk has to say? Anyway, it should be an interesting story regardless of anything I had to contribute, so tune in when it airs next Sunday.

Also on the scene was the north-Valley writer and poet Andrew Varnon. Here we are in front of the Fine Arts Center.

We went for a coffee and had a conversation about whether the journalistic profession has a future. Our conclusion? No matter what technological changes occur there will always be a demand for news, and those who can gather and organize information in a useful way will always find their skills in demand.

Meanwhile, tomorrow is a big day here in Amherst as there is a special election being held for a tax override referendum. As these pictures I ripped off from Larry Kelley show, the opponents have cleverly created signs meant to resemble angry yellow-jacket bees rising up to sting the greedy politicians.

The supporters of the tax increase responded by copying the style of the opponent's signs, as if the bees were actually stinging not politicians, but instead teachers, police and firefighters.

Of course as a good little worker bee for the Kelley Machine, I will be voting NO on the tax increase.


LarryK4 said...

Hey Tommy,

Thanks for taking the time to vote. Interestingly enough it costs the town $12,000 to host this “Special Election” with only one item on the ballot as it did to run the routine Annual Election last month where we elected a slew of folks to town government.

Yeah, I was thinking of suing for copy write infringement when the “Please tax us more” crowd ripped off our angry bumblebee motif. But I would actually have a better case against them for false advertising.

Since the firefighters came to us from a Department of Homeland Security Grant if we lay them off we have to repay the Feds $350,000 in order to save $80,000 in the next Fiscal Year. Not very bright.

Police yeah, we will probably lose one or two and teachers as well but their signs make it look as though we will be abolishing the entire police department.

But the same folks who organized this resistance movement will be bringing the fight to Town Meeting (starts this week) to cut non-essential services so Police, Fire, and teachers get the funding they deserve.

Speaking of Internet threats, catch the one (even though it was not anonymous) I just posted. Yikes!

Sachem Head said...

Nice talking to you yesterday, Tom. Quite serendipitous. I hope you are right in your optimism about the future of news writing.

d. said...

Say, I like leaving anonymous comments that refer to writer's as "poopyheads". What are these reporters trying to say...?